Dr. Dias has over three decades of experience in biodiversity science and policy and its implementation at national and international levels. He brings a unique combination of scientific training and extensive experience in negotiation.
He obtained a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Brasilia and went on to obtain his PhD in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh in 1981.
While working as division chief for environmental studies for the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, and as Associate Professor of Forest Protection and Ecology at the University of Brasilia, he became increasingly involved in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity. He was involved in the meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1991 and 1992, served on the Brazilian Delegation for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, as well as on the Intergovernmental Committee of the CBD in 1993 and 1994.
Mr. Dias has since participated in each of the meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity as a member of the Brazilian Delegation, and was one of the co-organizers of the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held in Curitiba Brazil in 2006.
He has also been a member of the Brazilian Delegation in most of the meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and was vice president of the SBSTTA bureau representing Latin America 1994-1996.
During the period 1992-2011, he participated extensively in the major inter-sessional meetings and workshops of the CBD, and played a prominent role in the preparation, conception and negotiation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which was adopted by Governments in Nagoya Japan in October 2010.
His scientific background and training has been mobilized in the service of a number of international initiatives relating to biodiversity science and policy. He was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee of the DIVERSITAS Program from 1997 to 1999, coordinator of the Steering Committee of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN/OAS) from 1997-2002 and vice-president of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) from 2004-2007. Dr. Dias also was a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP/UNEP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from 2006 to 2007.
Mr. Dias’ experience at the international level is informed by his work at the national level in Brazil in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity. Among others, he coordinated the National Biodiversity Programme (PRONABIO) since 1994, coordinated the negotiations for the creation of Brazil’s National Biodiversity Policy (1998-2002) and coordinated the National Biological Diversity Project – PROBIO (1996-2005). His interest in ways to mainstream biodiversity into the activities of other economic sectors was realized in his coordination of the National Biodiversity Mainstreaming and Institutional Consolidation Project – PROBIO II (2009-present) and his work on the relationship of business and biodiversity.
He has occupied leading positions in the Brazilian Federal Government administration. Before joining the Secretariat, he was Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment since September 2010, and before that was Director for Biodiversity Conservation since 1999, overseeing national biodiversity and forest programs directly implemented by the Ministry of the Environment and the national programs implemented by institutes subordinate to the Ministry.
Mr. Dias joins the Secretariat at the beginning of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and the first years of implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
He speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish.
He is married and has one son.